Monday, February 15, 2010

beach babies

Ben went away for a week not too long ago. The kiddos really missed him, as did I. So, when the opportunity arose to take an extended weekend vacation to Carmel, we jumped at the chance! We were so fortunate to have weather in the mid-sixties, sunny, with enormous waves! We picked up Auntie Jennie on our way, Boppa Mike came for a night, and we even got to spend some time with our family in the Carmel Valley.

Maddie's new thing is to chant, "Pose, pose," while posing for the camera. I, for obvious reasons, absolutely love this. Here she looks like a bathing pinup girl from the 50s.

Mister Motor himself, tearing through the sand with speed and ferocity. He loved playing on the beach, crawling through the sand, throwing rocks, and chasing waves with Boppa.

Not sure what's going on here, but aren't those just the most kissable lips?

On Saturday we met up with Uncle Frank, Aunt Teresa, and cousin Michael for a hike in Big Sur. Here's our view from the top!

After our picnic lunch, Maddie and Sam treated us all to a wrestling match unlike any we've ever seen! Sam actually started out by growling and then stalking his sister through the tall grass. He pounced, pushed her over, pulled her down by her pigtails, and laid on top of her! Maddie was a great sport, letting him pin her down, laughing all the while.

Plus, it wasn't long before she returned the favor. Sam was in heaven. Hilarious!

Hubba hubba! My handsome valentine and I snuck away for a Valentine's breakfast at our favorite Carmel spot: Katy's. I never deviate from my menu choice, because why mess with perfection in the form of Dungeness Crab Benedict? Ben ordered the smoked salmon/potato pancake special and we shared. Oh. My. The food was almost as wonderful as the company, my love of 13 years, hubby of 9 3/4. Happy Valentine's my lovey hubby!

I just can't get over the cuteness that is Sam in this hat. One of the few things I've actually purchased (thank you, Bridgette!), this hat just makes me happy. But not as happy as this boy. He is the snuggliest, sweetest, most pinchable little fella.

When I was a little girl, my parents would bury me in holes up to my neck whenever we went to the beach. Here we are, thirty years later, shaking our heads as Maddie wants nothing more than to be covered up with sand! She actually surprised some passers-by who didn't see her until the last minute, as we were gathered around to take pictures and laugh.

Dads & kids: Boppa Mike, Daddy, Sam & Maddie girl

The Fam: Mama, Maddie, Daddy & Sam

Is this what my future holds as the mother of a male child? Once out of his carseat, Sam made a beeline for the motorcycle and Boppa placed him on top. Look at that smile--pure joy. He looks like such a little boy here.

Maddie's first time trying goose. It goes without saying that our little Cave Girl likes it. She also tried abalone for the first time and was crazy about it. This girl never ceases to amaze us, but her expensive taste might just send us to the poorhouse!

Uncle Frankie shows Maddie a thing or two on the Takamine. Later on, cousin Michael taught her how to blow a trumpet.

Our last trip to the beach: Sam & Maddie overlooking Carmel Beach.

There is a room in the Carmel house that is FAB-U-LOUS for picture taking. Unfortunately, the kiddos were dirty, tired and not too excited about posing by the time I got my camera out. This is my favorite of the series.

Thanks Carmel! We love you and we hope to return soon!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Maddie: 3 Year Portraits

So I'm finally getting around to posting some photos of my Maddie girl at 3 years old. In the course of the past week, I've been able to capture some fun shots of her doing what she does best: playing, laughing, posing and being her delightfully inquisitive and adventurous self.

Day 1: Blackhawk Plaza




Day 2: El Dorado Hills

classic Maddie: playful







Saturday, February 06, 2010

11 Months

Oh my sweet boy,

Eleven months! We're nearly to one, and I can hardly believe my baby is growing into a little boy. It seems like just yesterday you slept in the crook of my arm, waking every few hours with a grunt, drowsing and nursing the day away. And now, look at you: crawling, cruising, waving, babbling, dancing, and more!

This past month has been a lot of fun, watching you learn new tricks with each passing week. You love to entertain us with every trick, blowing raspberries at the dinner table, waving bye-bye as we leave a room, throwing your sippy cup from the table, or bobbing your head to a tune.

We finished a good eleven-month run of nursing this week. You weaned like a champ, taking bottles easily and happily. First thing in the morning, you still wake up snuggly and warm, burying your face in my neck or shoulder as we walk from your room downstairs. In the past week you've started giving "kisses," and I can't get enough of those slobbery, sweet, open-mouth loves. I'm proud of making it this far, and though I will miss those tender cuddly moments I know that, for now, I can count on you returning time and again, throwing yourself into my arms, looking for a hug, reassurance, or just to check in.

Now that you've finished nursing we start each morning immediately with a meal. You are serious about food...grapes, tangerines, broccoli, green beans, bread, cheese, yogurt, crackers, milk, juice, blueberries, avocado, banana, turkey, chicken, potatoes, pizza--you will eat anything we put in front of you! Because you're moving all the time these days, you are eating A LOT of calories to fuel that busy body. This past month we watched in awe as you finished a Boppa-sized plate of roast beef, carrots, and potatoes. Amazing.

You are obsessed with anything on wheels. Maddie's mini cooper calls to you from the garage and you can't resist her siren song. When you've disappeared, I often find you standing up next to the car in the garage, beeping the horn, grunting at me as if to say, "Come on, Mom! Let's get rollin'!" You love to ride around on the tricycle next to Maddie on her bike. If we are playing with our friends you will explore and investigate every inch of their big kid bikes and scooters.

You are a bona fide explorer boy with no respect for natural boundaries. I can put two chairs side by side in order to prevent you from crawling into the side yard, only to return a few minutes later to find you halfway through the barrier, hips stuck in an impossibly small crack, grunting and rocking forward with fierce determination. You love to climb and can scale staircases almost faster than I can chase. The playground is all kinds of fun now that you can make your way to the tippity top.

Your sense of adventure matches your sister's and it is a joy (and sometimes a scare) to watch you follow after her, keeping up surprisingly well. I get these small glances into the years to come, seeing the two of you side by side, laughing and bouncing, and it makes my heart smile.

I know this month is going to fly by. We're in party planning mode now, preparing for a bash to top all bashes in honor of your first birthday. A racecar theme is especially appropriate considering you are always on the move. If I could figure out a way to put the brakes on, I would, just for a moment, to capture you at this stage, as in the above picture, frozen in time with that impossibly sweet smile, full head of silky soft hair, large hands, larger thighs, a "tubby" boy of unbelievable charm. Happy 11 months, Samuel Benjamin.
I love you.